The Haunted Hour eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about The Haunted Hour.

The priest before the altar stands
He hears the spirit call for peace;
He beats his breast with shaking hands. 
“Oh, Father, grant this soul’s release.

Most Just and Merciful, set free
From Purgatory’s awful night
This sinner’s soul, to fly to Thee
And rest forever in Thy sight.”

The Mass is over—­still the clerk
Kneels pallid in the morning glow. 
He said, “From evils of the dark
Oh, bless me, father, ere you go.

“Benediction, that I may rest,
For all night did the banshee weep.” 
The priest raised up his hands and blest—­
“Go now, my child, and you will sleep.”

The priest went down the vestry stair,
He laid his vestments in their place,
And turned—­a pale ghost met him there
With beads of pain upon his face.

“Brother,” he said, “you have gained me peace,
But why so long did you know my tears,
And say no Mass for my soul’s release
To save the torture of those years?”

“God rest you, brother,” the good priest said,
“No years have passed—­but a single night.” 
He showed the body uncoffined
And the six wax candles still alight.

The living flowers on the dead man’s breast
Blew out a perfume sweet and strong. 
The spirit paused ere he passed to rest—­
“God save your soul from a night so long.”


’Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
  Lay in the Field of Blood;
’Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
  Beside the body stood.

Black was the earth by night,
  And black was the sky: 
Black, black were the broken clouds,
  Though the red Moon went by.

’Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
  Strangled and dead lay there;
’Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
  Looked on in its despair.

The breath of the World came and went
  Like a sick man’s in rest;
Drop by drop on the World’s eyes
  The dews fell cool and blest.

Then the soul of Judas Iscariot
  Did make a gentle moan—­
“I will bury underneath the ground
  My flesh and blood and bone.

“I will bury it deep beneath the soil,
  Lest mortals look thereon,
And when the wolf and raven come
  My body will be gone!

“The stones of the field are sharp as steel,
  And hard and cold, God wot;
And I must bear my body hence
  Until I find a spot!”

’Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
  So grim, and gaunt and grey,
Raised the body of Judas Iscariot
  And carried it away.

And as he bare it from the field
Its touch was cold as ice,
And the ivory teeth within the jaw
  Rattled aloud, like dice.

As the soul of Judas Iscariot
  Carried its load with pain,
The Eye of Heaven, like a lantern’s eye,
  Opened and shut again.

Half he walked, and half he seemed
  Lifted on the cold wind;
He did not turn, for chilly hands
  Were pushing from behind.

Project Gutenberg
The Haunted Hour from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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